"We come here with no peaceful intent, but ready for battle."
— William Wallace
Mountains often make mighty men and the men of the Scottish Highlands are no exception. Clad in yellow and tan tunics and armed with axes (although their leaders are armed with sword and shield and wear tartans), Highland Caterans consist of men poorly trained and virtually naked as far as fighting men are concerned due to their lack of discipline. Yet, these militia units make it up with a great deal of bravado and pride, which would later distinguish their descendents in rebellions against the English crown and later on in battlefields around the world. Additionally, Highland Caterans are also capable of concealing themselves if not moving, and so are highly dangerous.
As such, while these men are fairly strong for peasant levymen, they however are not expected to hold their own against heavily armed knights or even the stronger Urban Militia of southern Europe, and as such are little better as chaff to swell your armies. Nevertheless, these units march faster than any other militia unit, and should be fairly useful as an advance skirmishing party should you need one. To access this unit, however, is not a simple task: only if you can obtain an Oath of Fealty from your Peasant Levy can you think of recruiting these men.
- Raiding Infantry — Because they are cheap to use, they are best used for raiding work, but should not be relied on to attack enemy military units.
- Low Reliability — Despite being better than Peasant Levies, Highland Caterans lack discipline and can't be moved individually.
Although Coinneach MacAlpin united the Picts and Dal Riada in 832 to form the kingdom of Scotland, the power of the Scottish crown was confined mostly to the Lowlands. In the Highlands, the local chieftains paid little heed to the southern monarchs and mostly ignored the latters' dealings as much as possible, living in the same way their Celtic forbears once did: free and independent, being a law unto themselves, embroiled in bitter feuds against rival chieftains and rulers. It was not until Robert the Bruce began offering feudal tenures to local clans that the clans were eventually assimilated into Scottish society, and even so the process would not be complete until the onset of industrialisation and the ill-fated Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.